Glitter, Diamonds and Me

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Alex T: “OK, DWall, the answer was “Glitter, Diamonds and Me”.  What is your question?

Me:  “What are things that sparkle?”

Alex T:  That is correct!  And you are the new Jeopardy champion!!

So, last night at the Famous Franchise, I’m walking off my lesson and there is another lady there waiting to take hers.  She’s the one who likes to do elaborate routines at Showcase and even had OwnerGuy in a dog costume for one of them.  Well, she comes over to me and says something like “You really sparkle when you know someone is watching you.”  Then she went on to talk about how my face changes and a whole bunch of other things.

Well, this is an interesting conversation starter and I may have mumbled something in reply but, really, how do you speak to the fact that you “sparkle” when people watch you.  I’d toss in a Twilight vampire reference here but I only saw parts of the first movie and couldn’t get through it so that’s one YA series I never got into other than knowing that the vampires sparkled.  I think she left it with that I was kind of a ham like her.  I think she meant that in a nice way because “ham” isn’t exactly a compliment for a performer.

This is not the first time someone has made a comment like that.  I remember Sunny telling me after a Showcase how my face “lit up” when I was dancing.  That’s better than sparkling I guess.

I’m not exactly sure where the “sparkle” comment came from.  I know we do a demo at the end of group class and I can’t remember if she came in for that.  I will admit that there are times when I take the demo in group class more seriously than the group class.  Group class has to include time to screw around but, when they ask you to demo, you are making a statement about your dance so why not try your best.  Group class last night was tango and I thought I had my serious tango face on and not my sparkly face.

I guess it could also have been on the lessons since she was watching us do our two step routine on and off.  Again, it seems odd that “sparkle” would come up since I was having a small crisis of confidence during the lesson.  Not enough to totally freak out but enough so that everything just felt vaguely off which is the worst kind of lesson.

The thing is that I’ve got so much on my mind when I’m having to dance a piece of choreography.  Even in group class, when the timing is counted out, I’m still thinking about my frame and what step comes next and how to lead it and whatever other technique things cross my mind.  Maybe deep concentration makes me sparkle.  Or maybe parts of my brain are so occupied that other parts can just surface and cause me to reflect positive stuff in my face and eyes.  That sounds weird but, while I’m thinking about all the stuff that I have to do, I guess I’m projecting something different.  I think that’s a good thing.

And now here’s where I take a step back and realize that I’ve devoted approximately 500 words to a casual remark from a fellow dancer.  Over think much??  But if I’m sparkling, I want to know why!!

Short recap of the lessons up until now.  Monday was more focused on Salsa rather than West Coast Swing.  She added some open break figures and we practiced those and then added a couple into the routine we are doing.

What I’m liking about Salsa is all the arm movement.  If you can get to a point where the moves become more automatic, I could see that it will look and feel really cool.  I get an occasional glimpse of that during the lessons when we strung some things back to back and the arms were just flying everywhere and, every so often, the transitions were especially smooth and I could feel the rhythm of the dance.

My lesson with Kid T yesterday was a continuation of the Argentine Tango and Country Two-Step.  I’m still having some problems with the drop step since we aren’t connected but I’m supposed to get her hand and torque her a bit so she flips around and drops and this happens on the Quick-Quick.  Then I need to immediately go back several steps and end up with a neck roll to get her back into frame.  The head/neck roll is also problematic since I can’t seem to rotate my arm without hitting her on top of the head.  So I end up doing as little as possible and counting on her to just turn on her own since she knows what is coming.

There was one of those awkward unintentional bad touching moments as well.  We finish with me turning her for about 3 eight counts.  Then, we’re suppose to hit a line and I bring my right arm (which has been turning her) down to rest around her waist while taking her other hand.  So she comes out of the spin and then I do something to get her to stop and reverse directions for the pose.  Let’s just say that the first time I didn’t get my right hand down quick enough.  As always, I was more embarrassed than she was but we certainly took the time to work on where my hand was supposed to go.

Back at it tonight to continue working on these routines.  I’m a little concerned since we haven’t touched the open routines since the Showcase and the next one is just a couple of months down the road.  Even though I don’t have a comp coming up anytime soon, I don’t want to abandon those since they are much more interesting than doing the closed figures which stick more to the syllabus and my level.


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